China, ASEAN nations agree on guidelines for implementation of DOC in South China Sea

15:32, July 20, 2011      

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China and the ASEAN nations reached a series of important consensuses in Bali on Wednesday on implementing the 2002 Declaration of the Conduct in the South China Sea (DOC), laying a solid foundation for practical cooperation in the area.

The agreements were made at a meeting of senior officials from China and ASEAN nations aimed at promoting the implementation of the DOC.

Participants at the meeting shared the view that bringing consultations on the guidelines to an early conclusion, implementing the DOC in real earnest and enhancing practical cooperation will help maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, promote China-ASEAN relations and serve the common interests of the parties concerned.

They agreed that the next such meeting will be held in due time and that the seventh joint working group meeting will be convened in China.

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin reiterated China's active support for cooperation in the South China Sea.

He proposed that the parties concerned shift their focus to conducting practical cooperation within the framework of the DOC.

The Chinese side has made a number of proposals for further cooperation, including the convening of a symposium on free navigation in the South China Sea, and the establishment of three special committees on marine scientific research and environmental protection, navigation safety and search and rescue operations, and combating transnational crimes on the sea.

China has also reaffirmed its commitment to continuing the three cooperation projects it has promised. China's proposals have got positive response from participants at the meeting.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue partnership and the next year will be the 10th anniversary of the DOC.

Participants at the meeting agreed to take this opportunity to make cooperation the theme in the South China Sea and make joint efforts to turn it into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.

The DOC was signed in November 2002 as a code of conduct for all parties involved in diplomatic issues in the South China Sea.

It is a political document aimed at safeguarding the stability in the South China Sea, promoting political mutual trust, advancing cooperation and creating favorable conditions and atmosphere for the interested countries to ultimately settle their disputes by peaceful means.

Signatories to the DOC agreed to settle disputes in the South China Sea through friendly coordination and negotiation, and refrain from activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability in the region.

Source: Xinhua
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